Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cornwall Day 29 - the Barnoon

Today's walk took the SconeLady past a cemetery, and ended with her (again) at the Digey Food Room. Surprise! But this time she did not have a scone with jam and cream. She had Carrot and Leek soup, with the most tasty and soft granary bread and Cornish butter.

Here is the Carrot and Leek soup, with bread, which was amazing.

 Please excuse the short blurb tonight, but it cannot be helped. I'm about to sleep sitting up.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Friday, October 30, 2015

Cornwall Day 28 - Surfin' USA on Changeover Day

Changeover day! There were more roller bags on cobbles than I ever thought possible today. People all around me were exiting their cottages, locking the doors, looking sad and downtrodden - and pulling heavy bags off in some direction or other. Just about everyone but me was heading in the direction of the station, for The Great Western Railway was busy today. 

But it wasn't busy taking me anywhere, as I was headed only 3 blocks away to a new cottage! It was a spot I was eager to get to, knowing it would be UTTERLY SWEET AND ADORABLE. It would have a juke box, and SMEG appliances (look it up), and retro everything, with a cute 50's sign that says, "Oh, I'm sorry. You must be confusing me with the maid we DON'T HAVE." Hahaha

As usual, the SconeLady bustled in, climbed the stairs, and began nosing around to see what she could see. They have the cutest little knick knacks and transformative decor that would make any retro-lover feel right at home (especially the milk jugs and cream pitchers, just like Mother's*). And as a cottage, it has the obligatory granite walls! Painted yellow, and pink, and my favorite light greet. Really, it is quite over-the-top.

Right now, the juke box is rockin' and rollin' right along. I heard Rosemary Clooney, Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Mathis, AND the Beach Boys (hence the rock-n-roll), all radiating out of that Box like there was no tomorrow. Too completely cute!

But before I went to this spot (due to housekeeping getting it all spiffy), I made my way to The Digey Food Room for sustenance while I waited. And once more, Josh the scone-baker allowed a photo, and we discussed scones and scone-strategies. Each time I meet this man I learn something new! And this time I got to meet Alex-the-owner, whose recipes are as good as they get.

There was free Wifi and no limits on how long you can stay, so on I wrote, forgetting everything but the sweet story that deserves to be told.

The quintessential Cornish scone-baker

So here's to the Fifties, to juke boxes, to cream pitchers and milk jugs, and to all that is Mid Century Modern.

Just think...SMEG.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady


 (*our mother would have never plopped a milk carton down on the table, but always poured it into a lovely milk pitcher) (bk)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cornwall Day 27 - It Has To Be Chocolate

I'd been sitting and writing for simply hours, and would go crazy at any moment. That is,if I didn't have something chocolate to eat RIGHT AWAY. The sweet tooth was going to have to be obeyed.

Just moments from here there is a sort-of Pub. It isn't an actual Pub, but it might be the first cousin to one. I had heard they serve chocolate brownies with vanilla ice cream in there. I had heard that it was moist - and anything that comes out of an oven in England, in chocolate, and is moist - must be tried.

So I dashed down there in the dark of night and asked, "Sir, do you have a moist, warm, fresh, chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream on top? To go?"

He noticed the accent, and chuckled. "American, right?"

"Umm, yes..," I confessed. "Why do you ask?"

"Well, you Americans are the only ones who ever come in here and ask about the chocolate brownies. It's the strangest thing."

"Have you ever tried one of them, sir?" I ventured.

"Not...ah, no..." he confessed.

"THAT is why you don't understand it. You just have to go and get one, right now!"

Presently out came my to-go box, all filled up with goodness. He saw my face lighting up, laughed, and shook his head.

I brought it home, cleared away a spot on the table, and sat. Maybe people think a chocolate brownie is going to be like a chocolate cake - dry, crumbly, chokey.  That would explain it, I suppose. 

I picked up the spoon, gave thanks, and plunged right in. I wouldn't have to choke this down.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cornwall Day 26 - Quest

It doesn't take much imagination to figure this out:

Sitting just over there, holding a combination of ice creams, Cornish pasties, and baguette sandwiches, are great clots of tourists. They are innocently minding their own business, munching away and chatting, when just overhead a flock of seagulls gather. The gulls are eyeing those delectable pasties and they mean to have one. As I watch, the dive-bombing begins. 

And then come the screams.


I have perched myself in an out-of-the-way spot at a distance, because I know. I have been fooled before, and lost. What you don't get just by looking here, is the sound those wretched things make as they dive: a horrible guttural screech that frightens, yet gives no time to take evasive action. It is mean, I tell you. MEAN.

But it is rather entertaining all the same. There is a satisfaction that comes from knowing that you aren't the one, this time.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

(And by the way, the gulls don't just dive-bomb the human population. They also dive-bomb each other in their quest for groceries. Wicked.)

Looking over my shoulder this early morning, at Carbis Bay

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cornwall Day 25 - The Woman on Fore Street

Her daughter was pulling, she was pushing, and both of them were laughing fit-to-kill. "What's the matter, Grandma? Are you ok?" said a small personage who looked strikingly like both women. 

Grandma was still laughing. "Oh, I sat down here on the stoop to wait for yer mum, and me knees got set!" she hooted. And then we all laughed, all of us who were stuck in the road, and watching. Just getting down Fore Street is next to impossible and you've got to have all of your wits about you. It is next to impossible to make headway. And woe betide the person who gets stuck and makes other people also become stuck. Their name is Legion.

But  thanks to the combination of pushing, pulling, and boosting (the whole family got involved), Grandma was finally on her feet and the crowd could inch forward.

These days, I have taken to creeping out of the cottage in the early morning, to catch Fore Street when NO ONE IS IN IT. I can always count on being alone there, because everybody else has slept in. Not this early bird. There are a few of us who race up each morning to the Norway Store for the unbelievable croissants and twists. You can smell their aroma as you get nearer! These few earlies are devoted followers of the Norway, and if you are not there when it opens, you MIGHT NOT GET A TWIST.

But on my way up there, no one is out, no one is crowding each other and sitting on stoops and getting stuck there. No one! It is the sweetest thing. But boy, just give it a couple of hours, and - man.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Early morning on Fore

Monday, October 26, 2015

Cornwall Day 24 - What I Did At Coasters

There's a little tea shop, just over the road. It's one I have passed many times, never taking any notice - until now. It is very unassuming, not proud, tucked away down a little lane where maybe no one will notice it. But I did suddenly notice it because there was no Digey Food Room to eat a scone at. (The Digey was sadly closed!) So this little and unassuming replacement was found.

The place was empty, all except the small blond waitress who, at the counter, was waiting for customers. "I am looking for a Cream Tea," I began.

"Certainly, I can do you a Cream Tea, Madam," she enthused, preparing to go and make it. "Oh, and..." I continued, "may the scone please be warmed?"

A lot depended upon her answer. "Yes of course, I can warm it up for you." 

And then I paid. And she disappeared. Presently there was the clinking of china and the whoosh-ing of super-hot water from a super-hot water machine. And, out came my tea tray.

I thanked the small blond waitress, who smiled and then returned to her counter to wait for custom. Sitting next to the big window, I watched as a large clot of tourists (and their dogs) strolled by in the splendid sunshine. Almost every one of them was happy, because it was the beginning of their week's holiday and as such, a reason for high delight. I was happy for them.

Next, I pulled out 3 colorful postcards, 3 stamps with the Queen's photo on them, and 3 'Air Mail' stickers. I studied them each to learn which card should be written to which child. The cards almost always tell me this themselves, making it instantly clear just which would be appreciated the most by which child. Once that was established, I wrote on them. My pen never knows just what it will write, until the very moment it begins to move along the paper. It could be about almost anything, because they are all brilliantly interested in almost anything, making my job easy - and fun.

And the scone? The scone was indeed warmed up, which is not to say that it was hot from the oven. But warm, and that is good. The cream and jam went on and the tea was poured out. The stage was now set for the SconeLady to enjoy the thing she had come over here to find.

I hope that the picture here does it justice, because for a little, unassuming and unobtrusive tea shop, it sure does make a mean scone. 

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

*(In terms of numbers, the scone at Coasters has earned a good, solid 8.)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Cornwall Day 23 - Beginnings

I was so sleepy that I almost missed it, and almost went back to bed.

But a casual glimpse toward the window gave me a jolt, and all thoughts of bed vanished. Peeking out the tiniest crack in the curtain, I saw the most magnificent beginnings of a sunrise. Quick! I pulled on coats and shoes and scarves, and went for it. For half an hour, this panorama had me astonished and snapping away. The birds and gulls were having a riotous time with it, for the tides were either coming in or going out - I couldn't yet be sure which - and the smallest of the birds rode the wave up and back, over and over, while the gulls wheeled and screeched. It was hilarious. They were always surprised when it turned back the other way!

The next lovely thing that happened in this lovely day was my incomprehensible Chocolate Twist. There is nothing like a Chocolate Twist. Even if chocolate cake doesn't quite come out right in this land of Cornwall, well, they certainly get the Twist right! 

The best one comes straight from the ovens of the Norway Store, who always take out their first batch right at 7:30. This morning was a little bit sad because England had changed their clocks back (their version of Daylight Saving time), which meant that I had to wait A WHOLE EXTRA HOUR for my twist (it was a mighty long hour).

But then the church bells began ringing and I knew where I was meant to be. It was the best part of this day. Better than a sunrise, better than a Chocolate Twist, oh yes - being inside of a magnificent church building originating from the 13th century, with incense wafting toward us as the priest bows and we return his bow; bells ringing at various times during the communion as we offer up our 'manifold sins and wickedness' to be forgiven. Well yes, that was the place for me. For us. Everyone in there was reminded, as we are always reminded, of the grace that forgives. 

The Gift of gifts.

See you along the Way!
the SconeLady

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cornwall Day 22b - From a Pub to a Church

It is 10:00 and I am back, telling you all about it as promised. And the evening, from first to last, was fabulous! Aren't they just splendid?

First of all, I was blessed to be Face Timed by my darlings just as I stepped onto the train. They became fascinated with the train, and the passengers, and the dogs on the train, and the babies next to the dogs on the train, and the sea as it floated by, and the doors as they opened and closed. Everything good about trains was right there for them to observe. It was the sweetest thing.

Upon arrival in Penzance there was an easy walk to where the concert would be, and just across the street was a Pub! Which is very handy for someone who is feeling just a bit peckish. It was the Turk's Head Pub, all warm and cozy inside with happy patrons and food of every sort. I had the soup. The patrons laughed and continued laughing, until things got louder (it was a Saturday night, after all). In the end, what had seemed like a party was turning into a blowout. It was time to go.

There were people already streaming into the church, excited and expectant for what was coming. I myself had anticipatory goose bumps, because I knew of the high caliber of voices joining forces tonight. And it was all so beautiful! In the end, there were about 100 men singing their hearts out, and meaning every word of it. Do you know, they use NO MUSIC in concert. They wouldn't dream of it! It's hard to imagine how they learn it all, but that is what they do, and it is lovely.

When it was all over, I got to ride back home with 3 of the kindest people, so kind that there just aren't enough adjectives for them. They were so interested in this American lady who was suddenly in their midst, that we talked all the way back. I was sad when it was over and I had to get out.

But sleep is quickly overtaking the SconeLady. So she will say her goodnights and drift off toward oblivion, remembering the power of 100 voices as they sang their sweet Cornish hearts out.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Cornwall Day 22 - The Music of Cornwall (2)

I have been invited, dear Readers, to a concert! And I am ready to go. Do you remember the Cornish Men's Choir? 80-strong? Well, it is them - again - and they are going to be joined by another Men's Choir, inside a splendid aged church, with a splendid aged organ. I have chills already, in anticipation. And when I get home, I shall tell you all about it, however late it may be.

But just look at the dazzling day that has developed over western England:

After a rainy and cold morning, something has happened and we were blessed. This is my favorite view of all St Ives:

But - off I must go now, to the train, to the church, to the CHOIR!

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cornwall Day 21 - Change Over

It's changeover day, which means lots of things. It means that I was supposed to get up early enough to pack and straighten up the cottage. It means that I was supposed to have used up enough of my food to make actually getting to the next cottage feasible. It means that, joy of joys, I would end up back in the village of my dreams by day's end. Well, all of these things did, eventually, happen. Just not as efficiently as they could have.

Upon waking early, I did not immediately pack and I did not immediately straighten. Instead, I was at such an interesting point in the tome that I grabbed the laptop and dove in. Alas! I checked the clock long hours later, and - it was almost time to go! Oh no!

The things I said to myself do not bear repeating. You should have just seen the SconeLady race around there, throwing, zipping, panicking. But things were finally stuffed and crammed together (it was not pretty), the neck brace snugly protective, and food bags hanging crazily, one off of each arm. The train whistled its tune as I dashed up to car B, and stumbled on - being especially mindful about that 'gap'.

So I'm back in the village of my dreams, rubbing shoulders with hundreds of ice-cream eating tourists. You can hear the sound of roller bags bumping along the cobbles, the fresh visitors all grinning. And who can really blame them? The quality of Light here alone is enough to lift the spirits of any city-dweller. The rise and the fall of tides is enough to fascinate any child whose parents have transported them here. I guarantee to you right now that those children will grow up and bring their children back, in the years to come. For it is addictive.

Addictive, I tell you.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Village of Dreams

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cornwall Day 20 - 'Story'

Walking, walking

Yesterday the people in this town, if they noticed me at all, saw a very saddened, almost devastated Lady wandering its streets. I was nearing the end of the audio book version of War and Remembrance, a novel I have read numerous times, seen numerous times as a mini series, and have loved numerous times, every time. Yesterday was the dreadful demise of one of my favorite characters, and I literally could not believe my eyes when I saw people on the streets laughing. So deeply was I into the story, that I thought they were too! Now that is good story-telling.

Herman Wouk developed such real and complex characters that I now feel they are all a part of my family. They have lived and breathed in each chapter being read out to me as I have walked along. Well, it is finished now and I feel bereft. The end saw me choking up right where it had choked me up the numerous times I have lived through it before. Possibly the World War 2 setting is what draws us back again and again to that book and those people. They are all unforgettable.

And now I must find another audio book, because listening to 'story' helps focus me toward my own story-writing. It's almost therapeutic. And in the meantime, I get to look at beautiful places such as the one above, and meet interesting people I would not have otherwise met. It is all the most lovely blessing. Full Stop.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cornwall Day 19 - 'Moist' in Any Other Language

Have I talked to you yet about cake? There was a piece of it, today - or at least, there was a part of a piece. It was all I could do to choke the bit down that I did have. But it looked so good.

If you are a Brit reading this, please forgive my opinions because maybe cake just tastes different to Brits than it does to Americans. To an American, there is almost nothing as good on the taste buds than a moist, buttery, chocolaty cake with moist, buttery, chocolaty frosting. It could be said that for this, we are always on the hunt.

But we must be excused for this because it is something we have been brought up to, and therefore, it is not our fault. So. I was on that hunt today, needing sustenance while writing postcards to 3 sweet darlings at home. Tea and cake and postcards all put together can be very satisfying, if all the elements are there.

And so I found a cake place just across from a bank where I could sit and watch people going by. In its pastry case, there sat a chocolate cake. It looked so good! "May I ask, is the cake - ah, moist, at all?" I asked timidly.

The two ladies behind the counter looked at each other, and then at me. "Certainly!" said one. "Oh yes!" said the other. "Quite moist!" cried both. And so I ordered a slice upon their hearty recommendation.

Presently, the cake and the tea came to my table, looking all wonderful and buttery. And then, I took a bite. I'm not sure exactly how to end this one, except that I may have discovered a genuine language barrier. 'Moist' in one country simply cannot mean the same thing as 'Moist' in another.

That is the only explanation I can give.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cornwall Day 18 - Just Don't Miss the Tour

Tuesdays are always a good day in St Ives. That's because Tuesday is when the splendid Tony conducts his splendid walking tours, and everybody is invited. It's splendid.

Sunrise near Penzance

For this reason the SconeLady broke away from her writing (at such a fascinating point) to leap aboard the Great Western Railway toward St Ives. On the train were one set of tiny twins and a toddler. The twins were little boys, and darling. The toddler was a girl, and precious. Mummy and Daddy and (I think) Auntie bundled them on board along with prams, and dollies, and stuffed bears, and diaper bags. It boggled the mind to think how much gear those people had assembled for this one day out. But, at long last, it was all on board and they were ready to go.

The entire short trip was spent in making the children squeal with laughter, thereby posing for photographs, which were all hilarious. The twins thought their daddy was the funniest thing on this earth, and Mummy was only marginally less funny. By the time we reached St Ives, they had the whole train in stitches.

It was the sweetest thing.

Barnoon Cemetery

When we pulled in, the rest of the train decided to go out one door because all of the gear, and the babies, and the toddler, and the grownups, were trying to get out the other one (it took them longer, believe me). The funniest thing is that at varying intervals of the day, I would come across this little group, and find them:

  • laughing
  • screaming
  • sleeping
  • whining
  • eating
  • escaping Mummy
  • being caught by Daddy
In the end, we all got back onto the same train together, and did the whole thing over again. It was hilarious. Except the twins no longer thought either Mummy or Daddy were funny. In fact I think they were mad at both Mummy and Daddy. Not even Auntie amused.

But, I am forgetting the tour. Whenever you decide to take the Tuesday tour, all you must do is go to the Guildhall and wait for Tony. At 11:00 a.m., he will appear and begin to tell you all about St Ives. Its history, its granite, its tin miners, its fishermen, its graveyard, its artists, its boats, its shipwrecks, its churches, and its economy. And oh, so much more. It is the most informative 2 hours you will spend in this lovely town, and I highly recommend it.

Then when it is all over, I suggest you go and have an ice cream. Today, the best ice cream I've had came from this spot:

It was not only delicious, it was huge! And
that, my dear Readers, is unusual in St Ives. Mine was called Dark Chocolate Sorbet, and nothing could have been finer.

After that, it was time to remove myself from the lovely St Ives, and start pounding away again at the laptop. Ooh, I went right back to that fascinating spot, and have been at it ever since. It is mysterious ... it is lovely. It even has me curious.

(If this keeps up, I shall be in danger of finishing).

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Monday, October 19, 2015

Cornwall Day 17 - The Music of Cornwall

"The choir is going to rehearse tomorrow night at 7:30, do come and listen if you can."

Readers dear, if you are ever in Cornwall, and if someone says something like this to you, accept the invitation!

I did. 

It was a Cornish Men's Choir, 80-strong. I was very interested in going, but how to get there? And at night? I had walked up there yesterday morning for church, but that wouldn't do, at night. I am learning, though, that in England if you want to get to somewhere, you can generally do it by bus. There is always a bus to somewhere.

So I found I could take the bus up, and a cab back. I included eating a bowl of homemade soup and bread at the pub across the road, and finished in good time for the rehearsal. (And, by the by, the soup was excellent. Tomato Basil!).

Expecting to hear good singing, I was bowled over by terrific singing! Stupendous singing! Absolutely eye-wateringly great, in fact. You should just hear those Cornish men burst into song at the direction of their worthy leader. It caused immediate chills.

Just before they began, an elder gentleman slipped into the pew behind mine and readied himself for the music. "It takes me 3 hours to get here, but I come whenever I can," he cheerfully intoned.

"Oh? Where do you travel from?" I asked.

While I didn't quite catch what he said (I'm not too good with the Cornish accent yet), I did hear him say that there are several train stops, then he comes the rest of the way by bus. "I have to catch the 8:30 bus back down the hill, though, so I don't get to watch the whole thing." He would not be getting home until about midnight, so this is a man of true dedication.

We two sat there and reveled in the music. They practically raised the roof!

"They are GOOD," I said to him.

"Oh? I wouldn't really know. I'm tone deaf," he said.

"Really?" I asked, astonished.

"Yes, I don't know one note from another. I just like the way it makes me feel."

At 8:20, he struggled to his feet and bid me goodbye. "Were they really good?" he asked me one last time.

"Oh yes, sir, they are splendid! Never heard better." He looked pleased, and then waved, and went out the door.

It was soon time for my taxi to come and carry me off down the hill as well. I reluctantly gathered my belongings, gave a quick wave to the man who had invited me, and went on out the door.

The great thing about travel is the people that you meet along the way. Who would have ever guessed yesterday that today I would be inside of a beautiful church, next to a kindly elder gentleman, surrounded by a Cornish Men's Choir who are singing out as if their life depended on it? 

I may be able to tell one note from another, but I'm in absolute agreement with that kindly man: I just like the way it makes me feel.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cornwall Day 16 - A Church Called St Pol

I heard a story today told by a Cornish man who found it funny, and yet a little puzzling. It went something like this:

"An American got out of a bus at Mousehole and stood staring at the charming buildings along the sea front. He approached a passerby, and asked, "Where do I pay?" 

The passerby paused, asking, "Pay? for what?" 

"Why, this!" said the man, indicating the village. "Isn't it a Theme Park?"

We all laughed. I think the Brits might puzzle over it because a Brit would recognize the village as a village, every time. The American, however, reckons he must have wandered into Disneyland.

We Americans simply can't help ourselves when it comes to 'cute'. Mousehole actually is, as you can see above, super cute. And it's even better when the tide is in! Cornwall absolutely specializes in this.

Today is a Sunday and so I walked along the sea wall from Penzance to the church in the village of Paul...which is another super cute place. It was the prettiest 5 miles you could ever hope to walk. And the church itself? Well, just look:


The congregation was singing the opening hymn when I walked in, because I was late. I didn't want to be late but the final mile was up a steep hill, and hurrying wasn't an option. As I came through the door a nice man saw me enter, and gave me his hymnal, liturgy and readings. I sat next to him, and he helped me to know what to do when I wasn't sure. 

This was clearly a church that knew the lively life in Christ. The vicar was very personable with his congregation, explaining things when he felt it would be helpful. And the hymns! How sweet to find that these were hymns I had grown up with. And the congregants sang them as if they had grown up with them too. 

May the mind of Christ, my Savior
Live in me from day to day.
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour.
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

Not surprisingly, I suddenly felt my eyes watering as I heard the age-old words being sung in that magnificent place. The choir and the congregation practically raised the roof. 

When it was time for the Gospel lesson, the vicar read from Luke about the baptism of Jesus.* He pointed out that one of the stained glass panels here depicted this scene, and encouraged us to walk by the panel after taking communion, to view it. And many did take this small detour, standing there gazing up at our Lord and the dove and John the Baptist and the onlookers. It was lovely.

In the end, after all the readings were completed, and the sermon, and the communion, and the prayers, the choir processed back down the aisle, singing,

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine.
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long!
This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Savior all the day long!

And as they processed, the man carrying the Cross of course held no hymnal. But he was singing every word of that old hymn, off by heart. Singing as if his life depended on it. 

It was all splendid.

Of course, there was a cup of tea and conversation, friendly people approaching the visitor with welcoming smiles. The vicar and his sister kindly gave me a ride down the hill to Mousehole, talking in their jolly way all the way down. I felt as if I knew them already, by the time we were at the bottom. Where else would you find this instant camaraderie, this true fellowship?

Must be a foretaste of Glory. 


See you along the Way!
the SconeLady

*The vicar also printed off the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, juxtaposing them next to Luke's Gospel in order to see and compare the three, together. Excellent!

photo credit: <a href="">Mousehole Harbour. Panorama. Nikon CoolPix P2. DSCN7484-7490</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>

Friday, October 16, 2015

In Cornwall for a Birthday

A donut party is exactly fitting for this little chap. Birthdays can take any turn wished for, when the newly-minted 4-year-old wishes for donuts. His kindly grandpa brought them and saw his reward for such a deed: the brightest shining eyes for miles around.

With little friends to share them with and a new suit of armor, things just couldn't be any better! Or, at least they could be better if Grandma would have been there. But the SconeLady mustn't dwell very long on this fact, for tears are apt to threaten. Oh dear..

And so I have spent much time today reminiscing about the day this one was born. Such a tiny thing! So recognizably 'him'. Beginning from that day, there was a new dimension of sweetness around the place that only kept on growing. He is everybody's darling.

Hours from now there will be another party gathering, the family group all celebrating together and singing the Birthday Song once more. Grandma will do her best to be awake and digitally 'there', so as to see the honor bestowed upon this tenderhearted little boy. Who cares if it is midnight here? 

So there is a lady who is hugging you from afar, birthday-boy. Her arms may be empty, but her heart is full.

Grandma SconeLady

Cornwall Day 15 - That Penny May Never Actually Drop

I appear to have downsized, a bit. You see, it is changeover day and I have left one place for another. And although the new digs are smaller, I think they are simply perfect. Just right for one SconeLady to sit and write her heart out.

I find it to be without defect.

For one thing, I sit writing while staring out of the big picture window, at (get ready for it) ST MICHAEL'S MOUNT. In fact from every room in this place, one can find the Mount, just through your window and surrounded by the endless sea. Or not surrounded by it, depending upon all that the tides may determine. This is a treasure.

At the same time, it could get rather lonely. My sweet company has had to up sticks and go back to family, work, cats, sheep, a donkey, and horses. I have a feeling that when those sheep saw their mistress arriving back from wildest Cornwall, they uttered deeply felt thanks. There is something about her that is irreplaceable. The poor little beasts have watched and waited, and now their Comforter has come. I do not blame them. I have felt that way myself.

But I have my many memories of a splendid week, and even a splendid morning of goodbye's. Good fellowship around the table at the Porthminster Beach Cafe is, and always will be, a highlight. We laughed over the fun we had watching 'Yes, Minister' each evening, finding hilarious the absurdities of British politics. I kept trying to compare it with American politics, but failed. "They're just not the same, and never shall be," said friend Rosie. Somehow the concept that you can be a Member of Parliament while not being a Minister, had me baffled. And the strange reality that the President can remain President even if he does not have a majority in the Congress, had them baffled. 

I think I'm going to need a few more episodes of 'Yes, Minister' before the penny really finally drops. But I won't hold my breath.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

En route to the Godrevy Lighthouse

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cornwall Day 14 - Godrevy Lighthouse and the Hobbit

We had looked forward to it all week long and today, after a 7.5 mile hike we felt we had earned it: a luscious, just-out-of-the-oven, Josh-made Cream Tea at The Digey. All 7.5 of those miles were worth every step simply to see those scones floating our way.

Perfection on a plate (always a 10)

But it was the lighthouse which was the sweetest star of today's show. It isn't every day you get to go near to a real lighthouse while gazing out over beautiful beaches miles away. During the hike we talked and talked, practically non-stop. It must be because today is our last day here together, and we got in every word that we possibly could (Ted noticed this, and called it 'gassing'). 

There were pathways, meadows, stunning cliffs, interesting stiles and 'kissing' gates for us to go through, over, and along. These interesting gates and such made the walk even more interesting. At one point when we were climbing over a granite stile, we noticed something curious and rather delightful. A pair of feet with no shoes.

Hobbit's feet

"Oh, hello - you must have Hobbit feet!" Rosie said in her friendly way.

The man we met just laughed and said, "Oh yes, that's right, no shoes! Haven't bothered with them for years." We all stared (politely) in his direction, and the SconeLady stammered, "But...why?"

He explained that for the last 40 years he had only ever worn shoes during the coldest of weathers, and never otherwise. We were shocked and amazed, as would anyone have been. "But - you are bleeding!" said our Em, glancing down at his feet.

"Oh, that is nothing, nothing at all!" he continued. "My feet are so sturdy that they hardly feel a thing after all these years. Just take a look at the bottom of my big toe - see? right there - I must have caught it on something.."

Sure enough, something had 'caught' on his big toe, and we felt real sorry for him. Not that he needed our sorrow, because he so obviously 'hardly felt a thing'.

The conversation continued until it was time to keep moving, he and his wife one way, ourselves in the other. Very soon we began thinking of the things we wished we would have thought to ask him. But he was gone, and so we went on to stare in amazement at the Godrevy Lighthouse

The Godrevy Lighthouse is awesome! Just look at it. 

On this bright and sunny day it fairly gleamed back at us. There is a tiny sort of shed on the grounds, where we decided the lighthouse man used to keep his belongings. There is a garden wall surrounding the lighthouse, and we imagined that the lighthouse man must have grown his vegetables there. It was all just lovely.

But then it was time to mosey back toward the car. As we moseyed we saw - again - the Hobbit-man, padding along in our direction. What luck! It was our chance to ask him, "Is there any setting in which you would feel you should put on your shoes?"

While he thought for a moment, one of us said, "How about if you were going to meet the Queen?" The Queen is very important over here and we just could not dream of someone ever meeting her without their shoes. In Buckingham Palace. Could you? The Hobbit-man slowly shook his head, and said, "Not really. Wouldn't want to, anyway."

His wife quietly spoke, "Well, I would want you to wear shoes to meet the Queen in her palace; and I would probably want you to dress up as well." To us she said, aside, "He looks real nice when he dresses up.." But her husband was still unresolved.

And then it really was time to go, for our Ted had disappeared down the pathway long since. We said our goodbyes to this most interesting person, and made our way back toward St Ives and The Digey Food Room.

It brings back to me one of the great mysteries of traveling. You just never know when you might meet a Hobbit.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">Welcome home, Bilbo.</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>